Colville Tribal Enterprise Corp. agrees to cleanup wood treatment site

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COLVILLE, Wash. – Colville Tribal Enterprise Corp. has agreed to cleanup a former wood treatment plant that was contaminated with chromated copper arsenate, a wood preservative that is listed as a hazardous waste.

Chromated copper arsenate contains chromium, copper and arsenic. Colville’s Inchelium Wood Treatment Plant used chromated copper arsenate to treat fence posts and poles; it began operations in 1985 and ceased operations in early 2006.

There is no penalty associated with this action, reached in an agreement between Colville and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA inspectors visited the plant, or IWTP, on Oct. 24, 2005 and found the following alleged violations of the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: Storage and disposal of hazardous waste without a permit; wood-treatment preservative runoff onto surrounding soil; hazardous waste stored longer than 90 days; and failure to comply with health and safety training requirements.

Mike Bussell, EPA’s director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle, said Colville and its enterprise corporation was cooperative in negotiating a response. “I am very satisfied with the outcome of this action. The cooperative nature of the negotiations has resulted in a settlement that will make this IWTP facility a much safer place for any future activities.”

- Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at rmwalker@rockisland.com.

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